Research Associate – J-PAL Southeast Asia

Project Description

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is globally headquartered within the Economics Department at MIT. J-PAL Southeast Asia (J-PAL SEA) is one seven independent regional offices based around the world hosted at local universities. J-PAL is a pioneer of using randomized evaluations to answer critical policy questions in the fight against poverty. J-PAL SEA, based at the Institute for Economic and Social Research, Faculty for Economic and Business at the University of Indonesia (LPEM FEB UI) seeks a qualified applicant for a Research Associate for Project Development (Quantitative) position to coordinate the development of our projects through background research, engaging with government and potential partners, conduct field research and pilot activities towards the aim of implementing a large-scale randomized evaluation.

Position Description

The position offers an excellent opportunity to gain hands-on experience and to have significant responsibility in a vibrant organization undertaking cutting-edge development research. In collaboration with the respective PIs, the Research Associate will support the ongoing design, as well as the implementation of the project for which they are hired. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring activities are implemented with fidelity to the research design, as well as having close relationships with and between actors at various levels of the government, implementing partners, and field survey staff.

In addition to their respective PIs, a Jakarta-based Research Manager will guide and supervise the Research Associate in his/her various tasks. The Research Associate will work mainly on background research and early engagement of the studies, where they will be based in Jakarta with possible field visits.


Responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

Strong Project Participation and Oversight:

  • Propose and, as appropriate, implement innovations in the different stages of a project in coordination with PIs;
  • Maintain and grow effective relationships with partner organizations (e.g. donors, implementing partners, and survey firms);
  • Oversee and lead the field research activities, including the implementation of the evaluation, according to the research design in coordination with partners;
  • Designing survey questionnaires, conducting qualitative research, running pilot exercise, refining study design and surveying instruments;
  • Supervise data collection and data entry and ensure the good quality of the data at each of these two stages;
  • If using administrative data, assist with data request process and fulfilling all requirements, conduct follow up on the data and ensure safe and secure data transfer, upholding data security protocol;
  • Assist with data check, data cleaning and data analysis;
  • Ensure that project activities are on schedule and prepare project update reports according to agreements with funders and partners.

Budget Management:

  • Work with the J-PAL SEA Finance and Research Managers to keep detailed accounts of all project activities, including monitoring expenses in the field and summarizing current expenditures and forecasting expected expenditures.

Reporting and Communication:

  • Facilitate, strengthen and maintain effective and efficient communication as the primary contact point with PIs;
  • Provide periodic updates on project activities to PIs and subject experts/relevant study partners;
  • Participate in the planning and design of any outreach activities;
  • Prepare project summary reports and dissemination materials in Bahasa Indonesia and English;
  • Produce project journal and progress report.


Mandatory Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree (preferred) in economics, social sciences, public policy, math, statistics or related technical fields.
  • Minimum one year of prior work experience including managing multi-stakeholder initiatives in a collegiate or professional setting.
  • Strong quantitative skills, including knowledge of Stata (strongly preferred) or other data analysis software.
  • Fluency and excellent communication skills in Bahasa and English.
  • Comfortable managing communications with different types of people and diverse group of stakeholders (e.g., NGOs, government, civil society groups).
  • Proven management and organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage high-level relationships with partner organizations.
  • Flexibility, self-motivation, and ability to effectively work independently and as part of a team in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.
  • Experience in conducting qualitative research.
  • High proficiency in Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint.
  • Work authorization in Indonesia (either by being an Indonesian national or otherwise).

Preferred Qualifications and Experience

  • Familiarity with RCTs is strongly preferred.
  • Strong quantitative skills, including knowledge of Stata (strongly preferred) or other data analysis software.
  • Attention to detail and advanced writing and presentation skills (clear, precise, creative) for communicating policy lessons from academic papers in ways that policymakers understand.
  • Interest in pursuing a Master’s/Doctorate degree in economics, social sciences, public policy, or related fields preferred

Note on Work Authorization: You must have work authorization in Indonesia (either by being an Indonesian national or otherwise)

How to Apply

Please prepare the following documents and fill in this application form by July 31st, 2024:

  • PDF copies of your CV, diploma, academic transcripts, and a cover letter no longer than 500 words. The cover letter should discuss how you meet the aforementioned position requirements, emphasizing relevant skills and experience, as well as why you are interested in working with J-PAL SEA.

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Interested candidates are advised to apply at the earliest. Only short-listed applicants will be contacted. Short-listed applicants will be asked to complete a policy analysis and a written exercise and may subsequently be called for interview.

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